Gabby Douglas memoir coming soon. America's favorite gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas might only be 16, but she's ready release her memoir through Christian publisher Zondervan. And she'll have plenty to write about. Before she became the kind of Olympic star who gets invited to appear at the Democratic National Convention, Douglas faced an uphill climb to the top, and had to put up with racist taunts. Douglas says she plans to write about "how much my family and I have overcome during our journey. It hasn't been easy. I want people to read my story and say, 'If Gabby can do it, I can do it too. Anything is possible.'" Grace, Gold and Glory: My Leap of Faith will be out in time for Christmas. [Los Angeles Times]
Japanese man hoarded stolen library books. Officials in Japan have caught a 61-year-old man with a stockpile of 1,170 stolen library books. They first arrested Mitsuka Suizu in July when they discovered that he'd taken a few books from a Nagato library. But after searching his home in Ube they found the motherlode, built up over seven years of filching books from 15 different libraries. Stealing library books is totally not cool, but the police statement on the incident is still kind of cute: "He loves books," says Nagato police spokesman Yosuke Miyoshi. "He didn’t just want to read them. He wanted them by his side." He just really can't bear to part with books, okay guys? [ABC News]
British children aren't reading for fun. Research by the UK's National Literacy Trust has found that children aren't reading for pleasure as much as they used to. A study of 21,000 children showed that children use their down time to read text messages and watch TV rather than with books, comics or magazines. The previous survey, held in 2005, showed that 40 percent of children said they read for fun. National Literary Trust director Jonathan Douglas says, "We are calling for the government to back a campaign to halt this reading decline and to give children time to read in their daily lives." Now, that number has dropped to 30 percent. Perhaps children are just busier these days, with extracurricular activities pushing out the leisurely alone time needed to have a reading life. [The Guardian]
Zadie Smith profiles Jay-Z. Zadie Smith's latest novel NW traces the lives of charcters raised in a northwest London council estate. Sean Carter grew up in the Marcy Houses public housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a sort New York cousin to NW's milieu. So it makes sense that Smith would profile Jay-Z, the archetypal rags-to-rap-riches mogul, for New York Times T Magazine. Over lunch at "a homey Italian restaurant on Mulberry Street" where Jay-Z orders for Smith (hope you like fish sandwiches!), the two discuss the triangulated scrutiny rappers face, having to please hardcore fans, placate pop audiences, and pivot around moral panics. Jay-Z deals with it all rather well, Smith finds. And as for technique, Smith writes, "With Tupac, you can hear the effort, the artistry. And Biggie’s words first had to struggle free of the sheer bulk of the man himself. When Jay raps, it pours right into your ear like water from a tap." [T Magazine]
Maybe you'd rather listen to In Search of Lost Time, and now you can! An audiobook of Marcel Proust's sprawling seven-volume exploration of time, perception and memory is coming soon from British company Naxos AudioBooks. It's all packed conveniently on 120 discs, and it'll only take you 153 hours to get through. The audiobook's narrator Neville Jason spent 45 days reading through it all. [The New York Times]
Unfollowing Bret Easton Ellis. The Huffington Post's books editor Andrew Losowsky is over Ellis' desperate, oh-so-provocative tweets. Cosigned. [The Huffington Post]
Junot Díaz on the ones and twos. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the upcoming story collection This is How You Lose Her whipped together a playlist for NPR's Alt Latino. [NPR Music]
Maud Newton's F. Scott Fitzgerald Fan Fic. When popular book blogger Maud Newton was young, she scrawled an imagined "Dear Abby" letter from the protagonist of Tender is the Night in her copy of the book. The Awl convinced her to scan and upload her Fitzgerald fan fic. [The Awl]
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